Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This is NOT Cool :-(

I am racing back to the states to try to salvage what is left of our house. We had a water pipe burst and the entire house was full of over an inch of water. I am upset, sad, mad and sick - not at anyone in particular but the circumstances we are in. I don't feel like writing about it and I need to finish packing, but here are a few pictures my family and friends sent us. Thank God for them.

Obviously, I will get back to my Pulau Ubin pictures at a later time.

As you walk up to our house:

Living room and Peggy:

Kitchen with Brian and Raelee:

Steph's feet and our kitchen floor:

Brian and carpet man cutting all the carpet out of the scraproom:

Brian taking water... errr... carpet padding out of my scrap room:

Steph's feet in some unknown room. Nice.

By our front door:

Steph's feet by my grandmother's antique bed:

Under our safe:

Outside the back door:

Outside in the back swimming pool - not after a rain either :-(

All of our precious belongings were moved from our house and into Steve's shop by our family and friends in under 3 hours. God bless them, please? Thank you for each and every one of you.

Off to pack and cry some more :-(

And God Said, "Let There Be Light..."

... and He saw that it was good :-)

I have fretted all day over our house and belongings. As we got ready to go eat tonight, still fretting, I walked onto the balcony and looked at the most beautiful sight:

Pictures just do not do it justice, but as I stood admiring it, I thought how wonderful our God was and thanked Him for that sight. It was at that moment I realized I had not talked to Him about all that had happened and as I said a prayer for us I thanked Him for the reminder that He is always in control.

There is a story a preacher once told us I was reminded about while standing there:

A lady went into the transmission shop saying her car was acting odd. The mechanic test drove it and reassured the lady that he could fix it. After filling out the paperwork, she picked up her keys to leave. The mechanic reminded her she needed to leave the keys for him to repair it. She said, "Well, I didn't know I had to leave it here; I have Drs appointments, a hair appointment and I have to pick up my son at 3!"

Confused, the mechanic said, "Ma'm, I cannot fix your car if you take it with you..."

The story relates to the way we take our problems to God. Often we take the problems to Him, ask Him to fix them; but we immediately pick the burdens back up and take them with us. God needs us to leave our problems with Him so he can work them out for us.

I have no idea where this journey will take us, but I know no matter what it will be ok. I have given my problems to Him to handle and I know he will because I left them with Him. I just needed the path 'lit' to be reminded.

Thank you for being such and awesome God... back to You...

...and I am once again embraced in His love.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Mature' People Should Not Do Some Things

Today started out bright and sun shiny (does it start any other way in Singapore?) with Steve and I packing for our weekend adventure - this weekend it was to Pulau Ubin (Granite Island). We packed all the usual; the backpack, the camera bag, lenses, and plenty of iced water. Off we went on the day's newest adventure. Riding bum boats to the island was going to be a new experience.

We called a taxi and went to Changi Point Park and caught a bum boat over to Pulau Ubine (the granite island...). We noticed right away why they called it a bum boat:

They are in grand shape indeed. Steve and I discussed if they would pass US Coast Guard inspections, but we seriously doubted it:

We did not see a life vest anywhere nearby, but we were relieved to look out the window and see other boats so we knew we would be rescued in a matter of minutes should something happened. Thankfully, we arrived safely.

When we got off the boat, I could see already it was going to be a grand adventure. The aroma of the durian slammed us when we stepped off the bummed boat, and I immediately saw this 'mature' man selling durian and jackfruit:

I will never say my skin is sagging again. This give me the worries about what I will look like old and gray after losing weight. I know now that I need to keep my body parts covered. However, I hope I am well enough to sell something at his age - but rest assured it will not be durian.

Stepping off the dock area, we found a welcome sign and as we always do, we offered to take a picture for a group of 'kids' coming onto the island. And as they always do, they asked to have their picture taken with us :-)

It was at this time Steve stated that he had this novel idea to ride bikes across the island. We looked around and he quickly stopped at the first place we saw:

He signed his life away. Better yet, he signed mine away :-(

There were plenty of bike shops to rent a bike from:

But he only wanted the best for me, so he chose the place that gave me a new bike. Thanks for noting the sign Leone;

We saddled up and...

... off we went into the wild blue yonder.

Ok, so maybe it was the dense green jungle:

As we get older, we find things that are more and more difficult to do. Today I found my newest thing that is not easy to do for us 'mature' adults is bike riding.

It was near this house where things went wrong. I know what happened next was because of a multitude of things; the front brake on the new bike stuck, the seat was too high, the weight of the camera bag was in the basket, I have lost 70 pounds and am still trying to figure out the weight distribution thing, and we had stopped on a hill - all of those reasons combined was why the next incident happened.

I had just shifted down into first gear when we decided we needed a drink. After resting a bit, it was time to move on. I got back on the bike and started out; then somehow I immediately lost my balance and after performing amazing acrobatics - I still lost it. I came down hard on my left knee - BUT I SAVED MY CAMERA - and somehow it took an amazing picture of the incident:

This is what it looked like after my not so successful digger fall:

I am not showing a really nasty picture of it because I don't want you to lose it - but it was sliced open with - remember the granite? It was nicely ground into it. Now my knee has a digger bruise and nice cut on it and feels like sand paper.

In the middle of the Asian jungle this young man comes from no where to my rescue. After cleaning it a bit and his persistence, I was helped up and walked across the street to a very convenient man's home who just happened to have a grocery bag full of 100 year old arm plasters - aka Bandaid's in the states. It was all too convenient - trust me - I think he has seen this before. After a doctoring of war wounds we were happily on our way into the mangroves. Thank you to the nice young man that was patient enough to see if he was going to really have to rescue me.

It was well worth the trip, even with the digger dive, but it most of it will have to wait. Today, I have to tell you one more thing; we saw a hornbill and it's breeding box!!

WHOOO HOOO! They are nesting on the island and you can see the different stages of the Pulau Ubin hornbill breeding HERE - isn't it great?

I am really beat (literally) tonight, so I think I will finish writing about it tomorrow. I found one other amazing thing (to me) and it was a piece of a butterfly wing.

I can only imagine how pretty it was when it was alive. I had to take a picture - I would have loved to see an 'unbroken' one. Off to rest now :-)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Over the River

This is our view from the balcony tonight. Singapore is having a river festival and we forgot all about it until we heard the fireworks - I raced to set up the camera but this is the only picture I got. The fireworks were over too quickly :-( I will have to keep my tripod up so I can grab it quicker .

Since I couldn't get more pictures of the fireworks, I looked up and decided to get a picture of the moon. I saw a perfect crescent shape - but my camera did not:

Off to bed - it will be nice when I can rest. I was up before 5 am this morning after tossing and turning.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home Thoughts

Sitting here in the wee dawn early morning, I was editing pictures and found a few that made me think of home. It was not a bad moment, just a fond moment. I miss it and love it, but I know it will be there when we get back. For now, I will enjoy the journey.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How Important Are We?

This morning I was on the phone with my sister. I have call waiting (which was great when it came out but is a thorn in my side now) and I took a quick peek at who was calling. It was Jeremy; I knew I could call him back as soon as I finished this conversation - and HOPE he answered it. (He didn't) However, the phone kept ringing, indicating he was calling back over and over. Annoyed that I had to rush off the phone with my sister, but worried something was wrong with my son, I quickly ended the conversation with my sister who was headed off to bed.

When I switched lines, I was surprised to find out it was our granddaughter - not our son. Apparently, he hung up and she called, then called back when I didn't answer and the answering machine didn't pick up. Now I was pleasantly surprised to hear her sweet voice, but still in the back of my mind, I was very irritated at myself - not at pR but at myself for so quickly brushing off my sister.

We have become so addicted to the cell phones, call waiting and computers that we are (Leone, are you listening?) being rude to those we care about. Is that phone call or cell phone call absolutely more important than the person who’s with us on the other line, or with you you at that moment? I always feel like I am a second wheel when someone cuts me off like I did my sister today - it is like someone slapped me in the face, yet I DID IT TO MY SISTER :-(

I am usually conscious about not doing that to someone - in fact, I tried to ditch call waiting but it was on my everything-you-could-possibly-want-and-then-some-for-nothing plan with the phone company. Dropping it would have cost me $25 more a month! I often do think to cancel it when I am calling out so I don't get interrupted, but sometimes I forget - however, I seldom pick up a call when I am on the phone. How did we ever get by without call waiting and cell phones? Is it possible that we had to wait 2 minutes and call back?

Anyway, this is just one of my pet peeves and I have no idea why it annoys me - but it does. While I am at it, I have one other pet peeve - it is people who think I *must* be a part of their phone conversation. Every single one of you know what I am talking about - that person that sits next to you and carries on a very loud cell phone conversation with an 'air' of importance about them. NOT. IMPORTANT. Not to me folks! Is it too hard to walk 10 feet to exclude me from your personal life?

However, yes, Leone, I even smile at them and continue on my way. I promise, I am going to make a difference in one person's life - someone, someday will see me and think that I thought they were important enough not to answer that phone or snap rudely at them because I did not want to hear their not-important-to-me phone call.

And I am sorry, sis, for rushing off the phone. I just wanna say I love you. Hope you had a great night's rest. You are important to me :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Easy Day

Yesterday is over and it was a crummy day. I was feeling lonely, and everyone was super busy. I was also pouty because my kids are keeping each other company and I was missing them. Steph and pR are with Shari and Megan is with Cheyenne and Jeremy. Ahhh, thankfully today was a better day.

I was on the phone today discussing a nomination to be a board member of the SSA. Suddenly, my phone beeped one time and went dead. I tried to call the president of the SSA back and got the message I needed to 'top up' - another way of saying I didn't have minutes. So, I got my trusty little camera and decided I needed to get a better picture of my little bird, so I headed out the door. The ultimate goal was to 'top up' but I needed to look forward to that walk.

On the way, I got to see the guys working out with a trainer:

I love the bridge over the water :-)

This is one of our local places we go to eat when we want to go nearby. It is an easy stroll on the waters edge to get there and we eat by the water:

I enjoyed beautiful greenery and flowers:

And I found my little sunbird:

When I came home, I got a welcome from Shankar:

Shankar has been our guard since we moved here and jokes with me all the time. It is nice to see a friendly face when we come home every day - and he has to check out the pictures I have taken on my strolls.

Shankar likes it when I come out and chat because he can get straight on what guys are in/out or in transit. I have no idea why it matters to him, but he always stops me to ask and clarify about our crew of guys. He is one of the first friends we made here.

I did get my phone 'topped up', but before I called about the SSA nomination, I received and e-mail that said I had been nominated and voted for! Lol... I was going to accept anyway, but now I know what happens when your phone dies - just like a meeting you miss, you are voted into office :-)

Singapore Memory Project